The Day the Earth Stood Still: A Man and a Craft Store

I just finished the editing/rewriting of my next book. Now it has to go to my agent, who will undoubtedly see items that slipped by me. Anyway, I worked a LOT this week to finish it, because the kids get out of school on Tuesday, and it’s really hard to work when they are at home. At least, to work in stretches.

At the beginning of the week it stood at 442 pages, and now it’s 480 pages.

It’s always surprising to me to read through a draft and find out it’s not as horrible as I thought while I was writing it. Writing the first draft really is the hardest part. This time it was triply hard because of the historical stuff, and I kept having to check things (what kind of forest would be in northern Honshu in the 12th century? What color would the dirt be, and would it be hard/loamy what? Did they have lychee? What did they use for light at night?)

Sometimes, I wasn’t feeling it, so I would just vaguely sketch out a scene I knew needed to happen: She went out with her husband and they had a fight. Or: There was a big battle at the river. When I went through it, I added more. Over the weekend, I’m going to edit some minor things I know need addressing.

Tonight, Cadillac took me out to dinner as a treat for finishing my book. (We did not have a fight, like my characters did). We decided to go to Chili’s because it was seven o’clock and there’s a Chili’s nearby, and I was starving. We got their dinner deal, but the server rang everything up ala carte so it was about $10 more than it was supposed to be, but the manager fixed it up.

Then….we were leaving and Cadillac said, “Would you like to go walk around someplace?”

“Like where?” I said.

“Like Fashion Valley (a mall). Or, we could go to Michael’s and get some craft stuff,” he said.

My head spun around.

Yes, that is correct. My husband VOLUNTEERED to take me to MICHAEL’S and buy crafts.

It was the day the earth stood still.

He is never bitter or grumpy about taking me to Michael’s. But neither has he ever just asked if I wanted to go.

Unfortunately, unless I have a specific project in mind I don’t just buy random craft stuff. That is, I don’t walk around Michael’s eyeing supplies and pulling ideas out of my ass, like, “Oooh, I could make a lamp out of pipe cleaners and beads!” I also tend to forget which supplies I already have. But I was so excited that he suggested it that I agreed anyway and we went down there. I didn’t buy anything. He looked at plastic car and airplane models that are theoretically for the kids, but they always need help so he does most of it.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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